Council of Europe stresses Russia’s responsibility for conflict in Georgia

  • This is the first time the decision of an international organisation clearly states that it is because of Russia’s actions that Georgia cannot control Abkhazia and Tskhinvali region. Photo: MFA of Georgia
Agenda.ge, 4 May 2017 - 12:01, Tbilisi,Georgia

Georgia is prevented from exercising its jurisdiction over its occupied regions due to the illegal actions of Russia including its military presence there, says the latest decision of the Council of Europe.

This is the first time the decision of an international organisation clearly states that it is because of Russia’s actions that Georgia cannot control Abkhazia and Tskhinvali region / South Ossetia.

The decision stressed for the first time that the conflict is actually between Georgia and Russia, and not just between Tbilisi and Georgia’s breakaway regions.

The decision was made by members of the Council of Europe (CoE) at a meeting of CoE Committee of Ministers Deputies yesterday.

The CoE stated that policy and actions of Russia with regard to the Georgian regions of Abkhazia and Tskhinvali region/South Ossetia impede on peaceful conflict resolution, undermine ongoing efforts to strengthen security and stability in the region, clearly violate Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and have no legal validity. It reiterated that any illegal act aimed at changing the status of the Georgian regions will have no legal effect.

In their decision the CoE Committee of Ministers Deputies deeply regretted that despite the constant calls upon Russia to stop the installation of artificial obstacles along the administrative boundary lines (ABLs) which divide families and communities, violate human rights and fundamental freedoms and complicate the settlement of the conflict between two member states, it continues this process.

CoE called on authorities exercising effective control over Abkhazia and Tskhinvali region to create conditions allowing for the voluntary, safe and dignified return of IDPs and refugees, and to protect their right to property and to secure an effective remedy, and to prevent obtaining property in violation and to guarantee and implement the right to education for everyone in schools and preschools, including education in the native language in the Georgian region of Abkhazia.

The organisation welcomed the efforts of Georgia to reach out to the population of the regions of Abkhazia and Tskhinvali region by enhancing humanitarian activities. It expressed appreciation for various initiatives taken by Georgia in this respect, inter alia, through providing education opportunities and free medical service to the residents of these regions; underlined the importance to further promote people to people contacts and support for confidence building.

The Georgian Foreign Ministry welcomed the CoE decision and said that this decision creates an important political picture of the conflict in Georgia and stresses the responsibility of Russia as a party to the conflict.

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